The European Commission has lifted its alert over Spanish cucumbers and a fatal E.coli scare. But scientists are no nearer discovering the source of the deadly bacteria.
In Hamburg,at the heart of the outbreak the state’s mayor and health minister gave blood to help the rising number of victims. They remain suspicious over the source.
“We always have to report our findings to all authorities in Germany and the EU,” said Hamburg’s health minister. “These cucumbers must be withdrawn from circulation if infected, and the Spanish government must intervene.”
In Spain, the government is considering intervening but with the aim of claiming compensation. The impact on the country’s agricultural sector, after Spanish produce was blamed for the E.coli scare, has been devastating.
Spain’s Deputy Prime Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said: “We will not go to the European Union if we are not sure. It is not about asking for the sake of asking. It is about what is fair.”
And it is not just Spain feeling the effects. With 17 people now dead and 1,500 ill across eight European countries, consumer confidence in fresh produce is at an all-time low.